The Numbers Station (2013) Script








Did you get that?

Yeah, I got it.

So I'm listening to the radio the other day, Radio 2, NPR Radio or something...


There's some fucking guy, scientist or something.

Real sick bastard. You listening?


Says he measured out the remains, the cremated remains of a dead man.

Measured out the, uh, minerals left behind, you know?

The iron phosphates, the... Whatever it is we're made up of.

Says he added it all up to the cost of $4.40.

You believe that?

Yeah, I guess so.


Burnt down man's worth less than a fucking Big Mac, all you can say is "I guess so"?

Says give this poor bastard what he's got coming.



Ten minutes.

Start the count.

All eyes are on the newcomer, Rainer...

Can I get you something?

Two shots. Scotch.

Got money on the game?

Nah, spread's terrible.

Here. One for the road.

No, thanks. Been sober for three years.

Interesting career.

You do something long enough.

You close your eyes, you just can't think of doing something else.

They found your accounts.

Where'd you spend it?

Look, man, I just wanted to start over. Quit the Agency.

Have your drink.

It could have been anybody walk through your door.

Yeah. But it was you.

Go clean up your mess. Three minutes.

Start the count.

No, please, God.

Why did you do that?

Why? Why did you do that?

Why did you do that?

What a shame.

Have you lost your fucking mind?

She's just a kid. Jesus Christ.

The fuck, Emerson?

No loose ends.

How long have you been out in the field?

It should say there, in the file.

I want to hear what you say.

A long time.

I didn't know you smoked.

When did you start?

Right after I quit drinking.

Why did you stop drinking?

I was a drunk.

What would you say is your current disposition?

How do I feel?

How do you feel about the girl?

She asked a very good question.

Which was? Why?

Well, that's a question that needs to be asked.

We are not sociopaths.

We're vulnerable to qualms of conscience like anyone else.

We face these decisions every day, and we vote up or down.

Like everything else, it has all been distilled down to zeros and ones.

They have asked for me to describe your emotional state in as detailed a manner as possible.

To determine whether you are fit to remain in the field.

I hate that it had to turn out this way.

Me taking care of the girl, me taking care of the police.

What you need, what we're willing to offer, is a change of pace.

We have a station for you to look after.

Blackleg Miner.

One of the smaller terminals.

England? Yeah.

Far the fuck out, middle of nowhere.

Old American Army base. Officially it doesn't exist.

Unofficially, it's used to broadcast numbers to our European field agents.

How long?

Until your head is right.

You'll be babysitting a broadcaster.

Civilian, right?

Yeah, cryptology specialist.

And one of the very few people who can process code at this level.

You and another team, alternating shifts. Three days each.

You keep the station safe, you keep the code safe.

Whatever it takes.


Do the job, Emerson.

I don't wanna look like an ass for sticking my neck out on this one.

'Cause I've got nothing left, nothing to keep you from the wolves.





Sorry. Little last-minute broadcast come through.

I'll inform the authorities.

You do that.

Wanna hear my latest theory?


We're coordinating troop movements in Afghanistan.

Long-term tactical formations.


Illegal missions unsanctioned by the UN, that's why it's all hush-hush.

Could be.

It's good, right? Yeah.

Maybe it's all just some sort of awful experiment.

Stuff two people in a box, see how long it takes for one of us to kill the other.

That's nice.

Ah, give me something.

We're up two hours early next shift.

You guys been waiting long?

No, you're good.

Good shift? Yeah.

Got to catch up on sitting alone for 70 hours. It was nice.

You know, my contract's up pretty soon. I was thinking of re-upping.

Nothing else you'd rather do?


I was recruited by a software company in college.

The kind that makes apps for phones.

What's wrong? Pay is no good?

No, it was great, actually. Obscene, to be honest with you.

Why didn't you do it, then?

I don't know. I don't know, I guess I just felt like it was silly, it wasn't really that important, you know?

I guess I like the idea of serving my country.

Even if I don't know exactly what it is I do.

What about you? You never wanted to do anything else?

There comes a time when you do a thing long enough, you can't really imagine doing anything else, you know?

So, if I stay here, I'm stuck with you forever?

Yes. Be careful what you wish for.

You're doing it again, aren't you?


You have that look that you get.

What look?

You're squinting one eye as if you're taking aim with a gun.

You're gonna be late. It's horrifying.

I'm sure you're great fun at parties.

Seriously, you don't have to think about killing everyone that you ever meet.

I don't. Okay.

So, just for fun, what would happen if I wasn't here on Monday?

Has there been a horrible train accident?

No. Train's here. I'm just not on it.

It wouldn't be fun.

Come on, what would happen?

I'd have to make a phone call.

You'd have to make a phone call?

I would make a phone call.

No fun. Company man.


How you doing?


You should have seen your face back there.


When I didn't get off the train right away, you looked like you were about to have a heart attack.

How was your weekend? Good.

I had a great weekend, thanks for asking.

So you got that text? Confirming the...

What I already knew. Yeah, I got it.

Did you get mine?

I was trying to make a joke about the White House Correspondents' dinner, but my phone spell-checked it into whorehouse correspondents' dinner.

Spell-checks are usually pretty accurate.

Right. I'm sure there's a whorehouse correspondents' dinner somewhere.

Somewhere, yeah.

I know, I know, I got it. No phones inside.

Hey, if it were up to me, I couldn't care less.

Gone. Done. Okay?

Should be out by now.


Probably just got a last-minute broadcast.


Nothing. One sec.


No... Ah!

I can't hear.


Okay. Eardrums.

Stay quiet, okay?


Stay quiet.

Stay here. Be quiet, okay?


We're clear. Are you sure?

We'd know by now if somebody else were in here.

Whose hand is that?

I don't know.

Can you hear? Yeah.

If they know the code from before, they're gonna come back in.

They're gonna use it again.

No, the codes change every shift.

They could have had David and Meredith's code but not ours.

Where are they?

Take a deep breath.

We're gonna walk. We're gonna call for help. Okay?

"Cardiff, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Belfast, Oxford, Slough."

"Cardiff, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Belfast, Oxford, Slough."


Blackleg Miner Station. Go ahead.

The station's been compromised.

Requesting immediate evacuation.

One moment.

Evac authorized. ETA?

Four hours. For now, standard protocol. Secure location. Retire asset.


The code has been compromised.

Retire your broadcaster.

Did you copy that?

Got it.

What? What'd they say?

Four hours. Sit tight.


Did you hear that?

They're drilling through.

Let's go check the security cameras.

Find out what happened to David and Meredith.


All the cameras are down.

Audio's on a separate file.

Yeah. Pull it up.



What time was that?

One hour ago.


Fuck you!

Do you wanna be a fucking hero?

Go back further.

We just gotta hold out a couple of hours till Emerson gets here and then I hope...

- Quiet! - Get off of me!

Where is she?

Fuck you!

You go get her. Tell her to come out. Tell her to come out right now!

Take a fucking seat!

We know you have to open the door from the inside.

Can you get her to do that for us? It'll be a lot easier.

Fuck you.

I need to get inside the broadcast room.

I need the girl to open the door.

I need her to take care of some numbers for me.

Now this is something only she can do.

And I'm kinda on a tight schedule.

They didn't know about the change in schedule.

We got here early.

I know about you and the girl.

We know, okay?

Now we can offer you two a way out, a way through.

And if you do what we say, if you help us, we won't have to hurt her.

There's no need for violence.

Violence is what got us all in this place to begin with.

This is the end of violence for us. This is a new beginning.

It's a partnership.

And it starts by you getting her to open that door.

Fuck you.

Oh, shit. Your leg.

Oh, my God.

I don't even feel anything.

That's usually a bad sign.

You always know what to say to a girl.


You have training in this kind of a thing, right?


Field surgery? Dressing wounds?


I mean, it's not my area of expertise but I know a little bit.


Is all this blood normal?

Well, you have a piece of truck in your leg.

No way is a joke gonna make me feel more comfortable in your ability to not kill me right now.

Grit your teeth.

Looks like we missed the artery.

But it's gonna be okay, right?

You could still bleed out.

Emerson, lie to a girl, will you?

Bite down. I think it's starting to hurt.


That was bizarre.




I thought you left me.

How long was I out?

Little while. Not long.

We were ambushed.


So, what? What? They wanted to stop the broadcasts?

You know as much as I do.

Yeah, but we didn't do anything wrong.

Right? We were ambushed.

Sit back down.

All the audio files are there. We had nothing to do with it. So...

They can't blame us for anything.

Why are you looking at me like that?

We're fine. We were ambushed. Calm down.

I am calm. But what are we gonna do next?

Stop walking around on your leg.

I'm fine. What do we do next?

Just tell me what we do now.

Timetable updated. Mmm-hmm.

We'll have you out of there in less than two hours.

Has everything been taken care of at your end?

I can't confirm that.

Is there a problem?


Get it done, immediately.


Two hours.

Ugh, this drilling is driving me nuts.

I wanna find David and Meredith.

You sure no one else could be in here?

What? Nothing.

I was just thinking they wanted something in the broadcast room.

Gotta get over there.

Think they got what they came for?

Let's find out.

It's pretty standard activity.

Two broadcasts yesterday. Three last night.

There's gotta be something.

What? What do you got?

Fifteen broadcasts this afternoon.


Just 20 minutes apart.

Whoever broke in here didn't do it to stop the broadcasts.

Well, that's a good thing, right?

Katherine, when you send a broadcast you're sending out these numbers to the agents in the field to deliver specific assignments they cannot trust to normal communication lines.

Do you know what that means?

Fifteen broadcasts.

Fifteen assignments.


Assassinations, bombings. Could be anything.


Gonna fix it.

Here, what does it say?

Can't read that.

Agents in the field carry, like, one-time notebooks, like pads.

Each page is a new cypher.

When you broadcast something, the agent matches up the first set of numbers to the page in the notebook.

Now he knows he's using this page, and this page only, to decode the message.

When he's done, he destroys the page.

So we send another broadcast to cancel this one.

Every cypher's a one-time deal.

Totally random.

Completely impossible to crack the code unless you have the original cypher.

That changes with every shift.

So we need the cypher?

Yes, we need that cypher.

As much as it seems like we're here to hurt you, to kill you, I assure you, both of you, that's the worst-case scenario.

Must have left the computer running.

It doesn't scare me.

Shut the fuck up! Back off!

Please. Let me rephrase that.

You think someone like me is afraid of being shot?

Back off!

Meredith. This is between you and I.

The rest of these guys, they don't matter. This is just you and me.

And a choice.

You're shaking now. You're getting angry.

You're letting your emotions get the better of the situation.

The adrenaline is really kicking in.

But what I know, the reason that I'm not shaking is because this is a choice not dictated by emotion.

This is logic. Pure, simple.

My boy over there is rated 4th in the world on the Glock 30.

You know what that means?

What's it mean?

It means I could shoot you from Texas.

Now, that's, of course, an exaggeration but the point stands.

He knows what he's doing. He's a professional.

And you're you.

You've already dropped the gun.

Because this is a choice within a very strict set of parameters.

Right now you're in control.

What you don't wanna do is put him in control.

Don't give him the choice. That way is death.

That way is the unconditional end to future choice.

That's it. Good girl.

I know, I know.

It's always a tough lesson to learn, to realize that you don't have the stomach to do what's needed.

Don't kill her.

Of course not.

But you, on the other hand...


Don't! Please, please.

No! Please, please.




You'll do exactly what we want.

You'll broadcast my numbers because now you know every choice has a consequence.

Stop it! Stop it!

Stop it!

My God.

Try the other zones.

Who's in the basement?

Let's see what's down there.

We're clear.

My God.

He only fired two shots.

Oh, my God, it's David.

Oh, my God!

They must have thought he was dead. Bled out.

He knew there was a gun hidden down here.

You still with me?

Yeah, feel nauseous.

Yeah, well, puke if you have to.

I haven't puked since college.

Keep talking. Where did you go?

Brown. Yeah, how long?

Two years.

Before you dropped out, huh?

There you are.

They're looking for this.

Mainframe's connected to the computer.

So whatever's on this...

You said the codes were impossible to crack.

Unless you have the original cypher.

But whatever they're looking for, it's on this, so can you?

Yeah, I'm on it, I'm on it.

Who's this?

Oh, it's the Director of Clandestine Operations Overseas.

Somebody's boss's boss's boss. Somebody high up in the company.

Director Atwater.

Director Collins.


Keep going.

Yeah, these are people being groomed for top slots in the corporation.

Go back, go back.

I know that man. That's my fucking boss.

Fifteen dossiers.

Fifteen broadcasts.

There it is.

If I wanted to cripple the system in one fell swoop, these would be the 15 I'd start with.

You kill these men today, you won't recognize the world when you wake up in the morning.

But they've already sent the broadcasts.

I mean, what the hell do they want with us?

They wanna kill us. Make sure you don't cancel the broadcasts.

Grab that. Let's go.


That's all the information from the laptop, in case, uh...

I don't know, in case we don't get out of here.

Drink that.

"Of course we'll get out of here, Katherine."

"Don't you worry about a thing."

You ever get used to it?

Used to what?

Bodies. Dead people. Seeing them.


They never seem to stay dead. How's it going over there?

There's stuff on here, but it's password protected.

I know, but can you open it?

I don't know. I'm trying.

How do we know all this mayhem hasn't already happened?

We don't.

Good. Just keep working.


Can you just talk to me?

Yeah, what do you wanna talk about?

Anything. Just regular stuff. Like what normal people talk about.

Not really my strong suit, Katherine.

I'll start.

How do you know I dropped out of college?

Oh, that was just a lucky guess.

Grabbed my file or something?

You fit a profile.

Of what?

Civilian broadcasters have a certain, you know, personality trait.

Keep working.

Well, I can't work in silence, so you might as well just entertain me.


A troubled childhood with an emphasis on extreme emotional loss or fatigue.

Death of a parent. Sometimes sexual abuse.

Lack of a strong authority figure in adolescence.

Low self-esteem resulting in few permanent relationships. Defensive.

Rebellious. Highly intelligent.

Susceptible to being stuck in one position, environment or occupation for long periods of time.

Wow... Yeah, you're terrible at this.

How about your profile?

Indifferent and emotionally detached from reality.

Inability to communicate with any other human being on the face of this Earth.

Willing to sit silently in one place for hours at a time.

Make sure that you have a plan to kill every person that you ever meet.

No. Close.

No, I had a stable childhood but with an underlying desire to break free from control or authority.

Restless. Sense of self-entitlement.

Striking lack of empathy or compassion for other people.

Bordering between autism...


You know, I, um, didn't always do this.

This is my first station assignment.

I was on the other end of the numbers.

Looking at nine million black-book tax dollars.

Recruited me straight out of college.

Said it was the best opportunity I'd ever have.

Told me I'd do special things, important things.

Well, you're worth more than what some bureaucrat wrote down on a piece of paper 20 years ago.


All they're really talking about is what's real. Reality.

They know how to use it. They're good at it.

Why not quit?

Yeah. Yeah.

I knew a guy once, and he decided he wanted to quit.

He squirreled away money for about 20 years and he opened up a bar and wanted to create a new life, and he survived about 37 months.

They killed him?

No, I did.

See if you can get into those files.

...Emerson gets here.

Get off me! Get the fuck off! Get it off me!

How much longer?

Little while still.

Go on, David, tell her to come out.

Tell her to come out right now!

Fuck you!

Get up there.

Do you wanna be a fucking hero?

Get off! Get the fuck off me!

I don't know how they got in.

I mean, how can they have gotten the door code? It changes every shift.

Unless someone...

They knew the code and I told Mere...

I told Meredith to lock herself inside the broadcast room to broadcast over the emergency channel.


If anyone's even listening, if it's even still on the air...

They've cut into all our other secure lines of communication.

I don't know how. I mean, who could know that much?

Even the one-way operator line, I didn't even think that was possible.


What did he just say?

Even the one-way operator line, I didn't even think that was possible.

They cut into the operator line?

You did speak to someone on the phone. You spoke to the operator.


I swear to God, if you were pretending to talk to someone...

Katherine, I gave him the code. He verified the code.

Yeah, but did you verify him?

"Cardiff, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool, Slough."


That wasn't the right code.


What I just called in.

It wasn't the right code.

Tell me you killed the girl before you figured that out.


Fuck! They got to the emergency phones.

Just let me think.

No one even knows we're in trouble, do they?

No, they don't.

There has to be a safety measure, right? No.

Something or someone?

There's nothing.

Someone who cancels the broadcast when something like this happens.

There's no one.

There has to be some kind of back-up, like an emergency back-up...

Something like this doesn't happen.

Seventy years, the code's never been breached.

Somebody has to be out there who can...

Katherine, there's nothing but the goddamn numbers!

If we do our job, we get out of here alive. I promise.

You kill her for me, I let you live.


We've gone to a lot of trouble here with these broadcasts.

We can't leave anything to chance.

We can't let the girl cancel the broadcasts.

She's the only one who can undo what's been done.

You understand that, you're not a fool.

Go fuck yourself.

Look, your bosses won't let her live. She knows too much.

Either you or me or the Agency pulls the trigger.

No matter what, she doesn't make it out alive.

You know a lot about this business.

What's the problem? What do you care?

Like you haven't done it a hundred times before.

We've almost drilled through your door anyways.

Might as well save your own life.

What's she worth to you? She's nobody.

Fuck. If anyone's even listening, if it's even still on the air...

I couldn't take the shot.

I couldn't do it.

How could I do it?

He said he couldn't take the shot.

No, he couldn't.

What does that mean, Emerson?

What do you think it means?

It means that there are no other safety measures.

That David was the safety measure.


Means that you're the safety measure.

And all this time I thought you were protecting me.

I knew you looked at me funny. I knew you fucking looked at me funny.


I should have listened to myself.

Where are you going?

Nowhere! Where am I gonna go?

I'm stuck here with you. Yeah.

And what have you got, huh?

What have you got outside of this? Do you have a life?

How could that possibly matter?

What do you mean "how does it matter"?

It means everything. What is...

What have you got? You've got nothing to live for except for this!

Mmm-hmm... This is all you've got.

You've got your protocol. You've got your numbers.

You're on the other side of the fucking numbers.

And you read them and you take their money.

You think you're not a part of this, huh?

Do you think you can fuck around with these people?

What's wrong with you? What are you doing here?

You're in it.

You asked for it and you're in it.

Here, locked and loaded.

Safety's off. It's good to go.

I don't want your fucking gun.

If I was gonna kill you, I would have done it a long time ago.

You'll do exactly what we want.

You'll broadcast my numbers because now you know every choice has a consequence.

You'll do exactly what we want.

You'll broadcast my numbers because now you know every choice has a consequence.

My cell phone.

My cell phone's in your glove-box.

We can use it to call for help.

Doesn't help much with the guys waiting outside that door.

Yeah, but there are three voices on the recording, right?

The one who attacked us, the one who was dead in the basement.

And one guy who will watch outside. Maybe.


Lock yourself in.

It's the only secure room we got left.

Is she dead?

Yes, it's done.

Come upstairs. Leave the door open and drive away.

Welcome to early retirement.

God, Meredith. Please.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God, these are them.






Fuck, no!



I unlocked the cypher.

I got the cypher.

It was just one... One more, one more broadcast.

Forget the broadcast.

Ow, oh...

No, no...

Come here, come here.

It's seven.

It doesn't matter.



It's 7-4-6-3.

Can you remember?

Everything's all right. It's all right. It's okay.

Go, go...


Can you keep your pressure on it? Okay.

Did we do it?

I think so.

Will I die?

No, you can live a long time like this.

I need a doctor.

Can you take the bullet out?

It's a lot different than taking a piece of scrap out of your leg.



This is gonna take the pain away for a while.


I'm gonna wake up, right?

I've seen four guys get shot in the gut. Every one of them lived.

Not the bullet. You.

You wouldn't...


You wouldn't do that to me, would you?


Somerset Textiles.

Blackleg Miner. Under duress.

Please hold.

Blackleg Miner, what's going on?

Terminal was compromised.

What's your status?

Terminal secure.

I knew you wouldn't let me down. Numbers secure?

Of course.

That's all that matters.


And the girl?

All assets retired.

She's dead?


All right, then.

Get out! Get out of the car!

Hey, don't shoot, don't shoot. I got money.

I don't want your fucking money.

Help me get her in the car. We gotta get into town. We need to get to a hospital.

What happened to her? She's shot?

Shot? Out here? Help me! Help me get her in.

Okay, come on. Come on, come on, come on.

What happened?

Is she dead?

She will be if you don't hurry the fuck up.

I understand that. I'm not a fool.

You understand that, you're not a fool.

Who are you working for?

I used to work for the same righteous pricks who twisted your life.

Now I work for the other side. Just as twisted but they pay a lot more.

They break us, you know.

Turn us into these awful things.

Broken pieces. They push us.

Make us into men we're not.

And then complain when we no longer function.

They think we should live like this is normal.

Like this is how we should behave, how we should think.

And our reward for this life?

We try to run away and they kill us because of what they forced inside our heads.

You think men like that deserve to live?

They deserve everything they got coming.


Did you stop the broadcasts?



Some fleeting virtue in not being a mass murderer.

I take it you're not a religious man?

You don't believe in a guiding light?


You're like me, then. Floundering in wet shit.


How long do you think we can go on like this?

Still at this, are we?

So, you told me she was dead.

Look, tell me.

Burnt down, a man's worth $4.40.

Excuse me? That's what you said.


In the car.

When all's said and done, you know, carbon and minerals.

A human being's worth less than five bucks.

I said that? Uh-huh.

Well, you know me, I talk a lot of shit.

But if you say I said it, then I suppose I should believe you. What about it?


We walk. Both of us.

Well, you might walk but her... That's impossible.

She knows too much.

She's got the codes. She's got the cypher. She's compromised.

It's gotta stop.

I'll get you a prescription for Ativan.

That will stop your conscience bothering you.

Yeah. Well, take a look at that.

It's a copy of the broadcasts.

The ones she stopped.

Number 14 might be of interest. It's you.

She took a bullet for you. Gotta be worth more than five bucks.

What do you want?

Give me a week. Ten days.

And I'll find your bodies at the station?

You'll find enough.

Start the count.

We were never here.